In CTC’s report Just Church: Local Congregations transforming their neighbourhoods we show how a combination of theological reflection and the use of the practices of community organising has enabled churches in very different traditions to develop lay leaders; foster a culture of relationship-building, and engage more effectively with neighbours of other faiths for the common good. We believe that this congregational development through community organising can benefit both the church and the wider community.
Our vision is to see more churches adopting the practices of congregational development through community organising, and to see churches draw out the benefits of these practices into more areas of church life. As a relatively young discipline in the UK, we also want to reflect on and develop the ‘practices’ themselves as we grow in experience.
An increasing number of churches want to work with us to achieve this, and so we now work with Citizens UK to deliver a one-year Action Learning Community for churches of all denominations and traditions who want to develop their congregations through Community Organising. The programme is based around seven hallmarks of community organising.
In October 2018, we appointed Caitlin Harland as Director of our School of Congregational Development – overseeing our Action Learning Community, and working with churches who have completed the course, developing further resources to support them in harnessing the potential of organising to develop leaders and grow congregations.
As part of this new School, we are be developing our Cardinal Manning Programme (focused on Roman Catholic congregations) under the oversight of Fr Sean Connolly, William Seymour Programme (focused on Pentecostal congregations) under the oversight of Shermara Fletcher and a new Learning Community on Organising with Vulnerable People.